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Mistress Hecketty Broomhead
Heckity
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Magical Status

Witch

Gender

Female

Hair Colour

Brown

Eye Colour

Occupation

Witch Tutor, School inspector, Member of The Witches' Guild, Temporary Headmistress

Actress

Janet Henfrey (1998 TV Series)

Wormwood

Wilhelmina Wormwood, the young Mistress Broomhead

Mistress Hecketty Broomhead (born Wilhelmina Wormwood) is the school inspector and a member of The Witches' Guild. She took over briefly as Headmistress of the Academy while Miss Cackle was away visiting her ill Aunt Gertrude. She is also notable for being the only witch whom Miss Hardbroom was petrified of, for she was Miss Hardbroom's tutor at Witch Training College.

Story

1998 TV Series

Mistress Broomhead was born Wilhelmina Wormwood, and attended a witches' school in her childhood, along with Amelia Cackle. She terrorized the other students, turned teachers into snakes and lizards, and when she was caught, she tried to freeze the whole school into ice until she was expelled. Wormwood apparently gave the excuse that "a bat bit her when she was young".[1]

After her expulsion, she changed her name to Hecketty Broomhead, and became a tutor at the Witch Training College. Later on, she came to personally tutor Miss Hardbroom, who credited her for teaching her "more or less everything she knew" (including how to appear from thin air).

Mistress Broomhead rose through The Witches' Guild, becoming an OFWITCH inspector, during which she visits Cackle's Academy to carry out an OFWITCH inspection. After announcing her intention to close Cackle's Academy by cutting off their GAS (Guild Approved Status), Sybil Hallow transformed her back into a child using "a spell to change bullying adults back into children". Miss Cackle then recognised Mistress Broomhead as a girl she went to Witch Academy with, and that her real name was Wilhelmina Wormwood.

Miss Cackle: "Your name's not Hecketty Broomhead, it's Wilhelmina Wormwood. We were at Witch Academy together. If I remember rightly, you got expelled. You terrorised all the other girls, turned teachers into snakes and lizards, and when you were finally caught, you tried to freeze the whole school inside a block of ice. All because a bat bit you when you were young - that was your excuse anyway. I bet you kept all that pretty quiet as you rose to your present post."[2]

Miss Cackle proceeded to effectively blackmail Mistress Broomhead: in exchange for keeping her past a secret and changing her back into her adult-self, Mistress Broomhead had to agree that Cackle's Academy had passed the inspection with flying colours.

Mistress Broomhead returned to the Academy the following year, to stand in for Miss Cackle as Acting Headmistress while Miss Cackle was away visiting her sick aunt. During this period, she revealed herself to be a stickler for saving time - ordering large clocks to be put up around the school, issuing a time sheet for students to record their productivity, and a time card to figure out those habitually late for class or playing truant.[3] Last but not least, Mildred wear an electronic tagging device so she could constantly monitor her location. Though Mildred's friends tried to appeal to Miss Crotchet and Miss Drill for help, there was nothing they could do despite sharing the same loathing for Mistress Broomhead.

Later on, Mildred overheard Mr Hallow planning to give Miss Cackle early retirement, and make Mistress Broomhead the permanent Headmistress. Thanks to Miss Hardbroom, this plot was averted by Miss Cackle's timely return.

Personality and Traits

Mistress Broomhead was described by Miss Hardbroom to be "quite the most thorough, demanding, and relentless witch I've ever come across", which testified to her being a formidable character who was not to be underestimated. During her inspection of Cackle's Academy, she constantly criticised everyone and everything, and expressed deep disappointment in Miss Hardbroom being a teacher at the academy.

However, it was eventually revealed that Mistress Broomhead was a professional, hypocritical liar - during her own school years, she was a wrongdoer much, much worse than Mildred had ever been, for while Mildred's errors were not out of deliberate malice, Mistress Broomhead's were, and she had to change her own name to conceal the fact that her crimes resulted in her expulsion. Given her success in this concealment for many years until Miss Cackle recognised her, it could be said that she was an expert at deception.

Like any other person, Mistress Broomhead had weaknesses - due to her having been bitten by a bat at a young age, she harboured a terrible fear of bats, and she was forced to give into Miss Cackle's blackmail when her own reputation was at stake.

Abilities and Skills

Mistress Broomhead is a powerful witch with the ability to appear out of nowhere - a skill that she taught to Miss Hardbroom. However, given Miss Hardbroom's comment about Mistress Broomhead having taught her "more or less everything she knew", it was reasonable and logical to deduce that Mistress Broomhead was fully capable of all the magic that Miss Hardbroom could do as well, though she never displayed it, apart from the ability to appear out of nowhere.

Relationships

Mistress Broomhead was a teacher herself before she became an OFWITCH inspector, and she was Miss Hardbroom's tutor at Witch Training College. Broomhead is both surprised and disappointed when she discovers Hardbroom is a teacher, and believes that she is wasting her talent working at Cackles.[4] She taught Miss Hardbroom "everything she knows", including how to appear from thin air. Miss Hardbroom encounters Mistress Broomhead twice at Cackle's, first as a Witches' Guild inspector, and then as acting Headmistress. Broomhead constantly criticises Miss Hardbroom:

HB: “The dragon! I’ve had some dealings with her in my time, but this is the limit! Mistress Broomhead has been going through my teaching records. She thinks they show glaring deficiencies. My lesson plans aren’t thorough enough! What right has she to say that?! I get the best results of virtually every potion teacher in the country! How dare she question my methods!”

Lavinia: “I’m afraid she’s been doing that to everyone.”

HB: "Yes, But MY methods are the ones I learnt from HER!!"[5]

Trivia

  • Broomhead’s name is spelled ‘Hecketty’ in the episode’s credits, but the name is more usually spelled ‘Hecate’. In Greek mythology, Hecate is the goddess of magic, witchcraft and necromancy.
  • It is implied that Broomhead never finished her education at Witch Academy. (Although it is not mentioned, it could also be that Broomhead and Cackle attended Weirdsister together).
  • It appears that Witches can change their names, as mentioned by Miss Cackle. Miss Drill later - briefly - does this in "Power Drill" when she changes her name to Miss Hemlock.
  • Miss Hecketty Broomhead’s name in other languages:
     

German: Frau H. Brummschädel - Mrs H. Hangover. In her first appearance, (The inspector Calls) her first name was Ernestine. In her second appearance (Just like clockwork) it was Hinriette. Her birth name in German was Wilherlmina Wurmholz.

Appearances

References

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